Insurance may be described as a hedge against life’s uncertainties. To that end, it can never be taken too seriously. Every year, the person insuring himself bets that he will not be living another year and the insurer is betting that he will. If the person lives, and loses the bet, he pays the insurer a small premium; if he dies, the insurer pays the lump sum “jackpot” to the person’s nominee. While the person taking up the policy has only one life to bet on, his insurer is playing the same game with millions of other people like him. Since the insurer’s risk is spread, he can offer huge odds. Moreover, the insurer invests the premium he receives each year, and has employees (called Actuaries or Actuarial Officers) who calculate the odds on each policy based on mortality rates, the mortality experience of the insurer, and the return on investment which the insurer is likely to get. These in essence, form the framework of determining the premiums paid by policy holders, and the returns expected from the policies.
It is the Life Advisors of each company who are responsible for creating the relation between the insurer and the policy holder. He meets with the prospective policy holder, and in conjunction with him, determines which policy would best suit his needs. Indeed, it is through the Life Advisors that every Life Insurance Company manages to maintain a personal relationship with its clients. It is the requirement of each company to constantly try and establish an identity for itself, and to provide to its customers, both existing and prospective, that which its competitors can’t. In other words, to establish one or multiple Points of Differentiation
Again, the customer for life insurance ends up paying a rate of premium which has been determined upon data which is sadly loaded in the insurers favor. As stated earlier, the insurance premiums are calculated by the insurer’s actuaries after taking into account mortality rates, and mortality experience. In many countries, especially the poorer countries, neither private insurance companies, nor the LIC are permitted to conduct the nationwide studies required to determine the mortality rates. The information is provided by the governments, for a fee, from data taken during the Census. Since this data in itself is old, and mortality rates have significantly decreased in the last 14 years, the customer is actually paying more premium than he should for a life insurance policy.